There are many opportunities in your warehouse, and mobile or service van inventory operations to automate and streamline processes that will reduce costs and improve efficiencies, while meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Adding scanning or RF technology in the warehouse can help your employees track products consistently from receiving to shipping, and reduce manual errors. Here are some examples of how automating your warehouse operations can help reduce your costs, improve efficiencies, and improve customer service levels.
- Often employees at receiving will manually match a receipt to a purchase order, or even accept that the shipment quantities match the purchase order quantity when in reality the shipment is incorrect. This means that your inventory counts are not reliable. When receipts are hand written, they often go to accounting for updating the computer, which allows for manual data entry errors and a delay in shipping customer orders. By using technology that scans the label on every receipt, you can match it to the correct purchase order, and immediately update the system quantity; you can improve inventory reliability, reduce order fulfillment times, and reduce vendor disputes. You also reduce the amount of time a warehouse worker spends on receiving so they can be assigned more productive tasks, as well as, reducing the time accounting spends to resolve disputes.
- Many errors occur during the manual picking and packing process due to product numbers that are similar or quantities that are not picked correctly. These manual errors result in costly shipping errors and frustrations for your customers. For example, the cost of a single shipping error includes return freight, receipt of returned goods (and potential scrapping), accounting hassles, processing the replacement order, and out bound freight. Frustration from the customer can cost you sales. As you can see, one single error can be very costly. An automated picking and packing solution will stop these errors before they occur, and result in accurate shipments and satisfied customers.
- Many companies spend days completing an annual physical count, and must stop receiving and shipping until the count is complete. This results in a back log of customer orders with a direct impact on your receivables and cash flow. Counts are taken and written on a paper form. When the counts are complete, they must be entered into the system. Because hand written entries may be difficult to read, or the data entry person may make typing errors, your system counts may still not be correct. An automated solution can save you time by updating system quantities as each product is scanned, reduce the total time to complete the physical count, and ensure that the count is accurate. You will be able to resume invoicing sooner and reduce the impact to your cash flow.
From these examples, you can see how scanning and warehouse management can greatly reduce costly errors in the warehouse and improve staff efficiencies. An additional benefit is simplified processes that allow cross training in the warehouse, and a reduction in training time for new employees.